A plenary meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee was held today (16 October 2013) in 10 Downing Street under the chairmanship of Prime Minister David Cameron.
Participants in the Joint Ministerial Committee
From HM Government:
- Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP
- Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP
- Secretary of State for Scotland, Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP
- Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP
- Secretary of State for Wales, Rt Hon David Jones MP
- Minister of State for Immigration, Mark Harper MP
- Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport and Equalities, Helen Grant MP
From the Scottish Government:
- First Minister, Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP
- Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP
- Minister for Youth Employment, Angela Constance MSP
From the Northern Ireland Executive:
- First Minister, Rt Hon Peter Robinson MLA
- deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MLA
From the Welsh Government
- First Minister, Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM
Agenda of the Joint Ministerial Committee
The 3 principal agenda items at the meeting were the economy and public finances, the UK Government’s proposals on migrants’ access to public services and major sporting events.
On the first item, ministers discussed the current economic climate, including trade and investment, and the state of the public finances. They agreed that, given the continuing challenges facing the UK and the global economy, it was important to maintain close cooperative working. All administrations were working to secure the recovery, address unemployment and encourage economic growth.
On the second item, ministers discussed the UK Government’s work to tackle illegal immigration and migrants’ abuse of public services. They noted the importance of continued joint working to consider the implications of the migrants’ access to public services measures in the Immigration Bill for the work of the 3 devolved administrations.
On the third item, ministers discussed their experiences in hosting major events, their importance for the economy and how best to ensure success in both securing and staging such events in the future, including the potential for inter-administration collaboration.
The meeting also covered the state of relations between the 4 administrations of the UK. The Prime Minister thanked the leaders of the Devolved Administrations for their continued commitment to dialogue between all 4 administrations. Ministers reaffirmed the importance they each attached to effective inter-governmental relations and to the underpinning machinery such as the Memorandum of Understanding which established the Joint Ministerial Committee.
Ministers agreed the Joint Ministerial Committee Annual Report, which summarises the activities of the Joint Ministerial Committee since the last plenary meeting in September 2012. This will be published on each administration’s website.
They further agreed amendments on representation at Council of Ministers and related meetings to the Concordat on Coordination on European Union Policy issues which forms part of the Memorandum of Understanding. Finally, ministers noted the successful resolution of the disagreement on Northern Ireland’s capital allocation.